Arsenic in Drinking Water is linked to increased incidence of Bladder Cancer
Recent studies across the globe have concluded that long term consumption of drinking water high on arsenic content can lead to higher incidence of bladder cancer. Though water consumption is not directly linked to cancer formation, the quality of water is a definite correlation. We have seen many cases where patients have developed malignancy due to long term exposure to arsenic contaminated water.
Arsenic is an element widely distributed in earth’s crust, and in groundwater in many countries. Long-term intake of arsenic contaminated water leads to arsenic poisoning or arsenicosis, which can lead to cancer of skin, bladder, kidney or lung or diseases of the skin or blood vessels of legs and feet. In India, this is widely prevalent in the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Chhattisgarh, where the arsenic contamination of ground water is much higher than WHO’s permissible limits.
As per WHO, the permissible value of arsenic in drinking water is is 0.01mg/l whereas in developing countries like India, the permissible limit is kept higher ie. 0.05mg/l. As per reports from the ministry of health, a population of 1.47 crore across almost 17,000 areas in the country faces a major health hazard due to arsenic contaminated drinking water. As per studies in 2017, over 44% population of West Bengal consumes arsenic-contaminated water on a regular basis.